Real Men Sow

Taking a Break and the Importance of Doing Nothing on the Allotment

2011-10-08 19.01.04

Traditionally, November is that time of year when gardeners harumph, forlornly fingering through catalogues wishing it was Spring.

Whilst I’m as sad as the next man with the passing of a tremendous summer, dark evenings and dropping temperatures, I’ve really enjoyed the time off. The harvests are falling away, and there is no pressure to keep watering, weeding or sowing.

With the exception of planting some overwintering onions and pulling up a few dying Summer plants, I’ve not spent any considerable time tending to my veg patch for the last four weekends.

A Big Commitment
Growing veg can be a big ask during the Spring and Summer. I pretend it’s not, but the seasons that I’ve been really successful are ones when I’ve normally spent most Saturday mornings on the plot, plus a good watering and weeding session three times a week.

Of course, I love this – I wouldn’t run a plot if I didn’t – but it’s a commitment, and I’ve found that come November, the opportunity to kick back and take some time out is most welcome. Harvests on the way to work and a weekly wander around to see what’s going on are about the sum of my efforts during the onset of Winter.

A Nice Time to Relax
Early Winter is a period for the veg grower to chill out, knowing that by and large, everything will tick along for a few weeks without complaint. My parsnips are content to sit in the ground and the onions are planted and sprouting, for example.

I know there is loads to do over the winter, like digging over and manuring, but for now I’m going to enjoy some more weekends away from the plot. It’s a good time for reflection and to recharge batteries. Too much of a good thing and all that.

This year, I had grand plans of sorting everything out during Autumn in a super-efficient, organised way, but it’s not really worked out like that and my cosy Winter lethargy has set in.

In the past, I’ve really relished the few days off over Christmas to get stuck back in. By then, I’m ready to start all over again, and the Winter Solstice always rejuvenates me, knowing that the days are slowly but surely getting that little bit longer…

Until then, I shall enjoy doing nothing. :)

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2 Comments

  1. elaineNovember 8, 2014 at 7:47 amReply

    I am the same – I enjoy the break away from the garden but come the new year I am always raring to go again. Enjoy your ‘time off’.

  2. SparrowgrassNovember 8, 2014 at 10:21 pmReply

    Me, too. I wandered up to the plot today to leave my kitchen compost and had a look around at my leeks and beetroot, picked some mangetout and noted that my onions are sprouting well. I’ll go up next week to put in my broad beans but there isn’t that feeling of wanting to hang out there at the moment. Raked leaves from the lawn and settled in with my knitting …..husband watching the rugby. Seasonal changes are very reassuring, I think. Part of the turning year. ⌛️

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About Real Men Sow

meIn 2007, I took on a redundant allotment plot with my gardening-mad mum Jan. As all good mums do, she went along with it, but I don’t think she held out much hope. However, over a decade later, and she now lets me do stuff without watching over my shoulder, so I must be doing something right. [ read more ]

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